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Virgil Abloh’s Nike Collabs Surge in Value Following Designer’s Death

The sudden passing of Off-White founder Virgil Abloh on Sunday has sent interest in the creative visionary’s products—particularly his sneaker collaborations with Nike—soaring on popular resale sites.

Sales of Off-White items on The RealReal, for example, increased 18-fold from Saturday to Sunday, according to the luxury resale marketplace. The top categories were sneakers, T-shirts, tops, sweatshirts/hoodies and belts, it said. The site saw overall demand increase 893 percent over the same time period.

Sneaker and streetwear resale platform StockX also said it saw demand for Abloh-related products “surge” Sunday, with “Off-White” ranking as the most-searched term on the platform that day. Of the site’s 20 most popular sneakers—defined as those with the most sales over the past 72 hours—three are collaborations between Off-White and Nike’s Jordan Brand.

A recent black-and-blue colorway of the Air Jordan 2 Low ranks highest of the three with more than 1,300 sales in the past 3 days, according to data listed on the resale site. News of Abloh’s passing appeared to have had an immediate impact on the shoe’s value, with the average selling price jumping from around $370 Saturday to upwards of $600 Sunday. That number has since fallen to near $500. A white-and-red colorway of the Air Jordan 2 Low—also released this month—has been sold more than 700 times in the past three days. The sneaker’s average selling price climbed from below $800 Saturday to around $1,500 on Sunday. Sales have eased since then, with the average selling price down by more than $300 as of Tuesday afternoon.

“As a live and dynamic marketplace where the customer sets the price based on the principles of supply and demand, real-life events often impact market performance and are reflected in bid-ask activity,” a StockX spokesperson said. “We have seen this phenomenon play out in real time in the aftermath of Virgil Abloh’s tragic passing…The unwavering appreciation for Abloh—and the passion fans have for his designs—is a true testament to his impact.”

Abloh’s status as one of the most popular sneaker designers of the recent history began in 2017 with “The Ten,” a collection that saw the Off-White CEO put his personal spin on classic silhouettes like the Air Jordan 1 and Converse Chuck Taylor. The collection was a hit, selling out immediately and cementing a long-lasting relationship between Nike and Abloh.

Off-White and Nike teamed up again this year for a massive collection of 50 unique Dunk sneakers. According to John Donahoe, Nike’s president and CEO, “hundreds of thousands” of consumers walked away with a pair. This summer also saw the debut of a 21-shoe range of Abloh-designed Air Force 1 sneakers at Louis Vuitton’s men’s summer 2022 collection in Paris.

“We are heartbroken by the news of Virgil Abloh’s passing,” Nike said in a statement. “Since 2016, Virgil has been a beloved member of the Nike, Jordan and Converse family. He was a creative force who shared a passion for challenging the status quo, pushing forward a new vision while inspiring multiple generations along the way. But more than a collaborator, colleague and prolific creative, Virgil was a husband, father, son, brother and friend. We are proud to call him family. We offer our condolences to the many who shared a connection. He will be greatly missed.”

The designer’s relationship with Nike spawned its own 352-page tome earlier this year. Focused largely on “The Ten,” “Icons” traces Abloh’s creative process, documenting original text messages from Abloh to Nike designers and “treasures” from the Nike archives. Abloh’s sudden death has sent interest in the book spiking on StockX, with some even paying above MSRP. On Amazon—where it is available for $70, $10 below MSRP—it ranked as the No. 1 best seller in “Design & Decorative Arts” for a time Tuesday, though it has since fallen to second place. It currently ranks 20th among “Arts & Photography” books.

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